Transitions

I’ve been having trouble regaining my interest in posting on this blog. I’ve kind of felt this way since I returned from Spain. I’m not sure if it’s because I had very limited access to the internet through my Iphone and realized what an unnecessary part of my life it is, or because I was just so blown away by the paintings I saw in Madrid, that it just made me feel small. The internet seems to have the ability to give a false sense of connectedness to the rest of the world, and lately I’ve felt the need to be alone, to spread my time less amongst the people I know, and more with myself.

I’ve been going through a transitional stage. My parents have been married for 30 years and recently decided to get a divorce which finalized this past weekend. It’s caused me to reconsider my belief system, and in doing so has made me consolidate what I find important and in general, care less about my own congeniality.

This reconsideration of belief is coming out in my paintings as a sort of emptying of the body. The mass of the body in some cases has become transparent, the forms have holes in them, ghosts and cloud figures keep reoccurring… This all makes a lot of sense, but overall I’ve been feeling somewhat unsatisfied with the work. I like the idea of what I’m making, but I never finish a painting, and feel like I haven’t figured out how to push the paint far enough.

This unsatisfied feeling is a somewhat neurotic problem I’ve had most of my life. Where there is a constant attempt to find meaning in things while understanding that there is no inherent meaning in anything. My parents togetherness has been symbolic for me these first three decades of my life, it held meaning, things to believe in. Art, and specifically painting, feels hard to believe in as it’s the people who make it, look at it, talk/write about it, promote it, etc. that give it it’s meaning. Perhaps it’s time to let go of the belief that i am responsible for all the meaning in my own work. On that note I cast you some new images of the most recent paintings I’ve been working on in the studio.

These last five images are of one painting going through a few transitions over the past week. I unintentionally ruined it last night, but hopefully it will work as the ground for something new.

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7 Responses to Transitions

  1. heather says:

  2. Nita Gage says:

    your words resonate with truth and depth for me personally and for the collective awareness up right now for many people. Be true to yourself, simple statement, difficult to live. You have been stepping into living your truth for a while now, and its taking root. I unplugged from the internet last week as I spent the week on the remote Hawaiian island of Molokai and it was a similar experience of dropping a other layer of thinking about meaning and allowing the meaning to emerge in a co-creative process with art, dance and meditation.
    Thank you for your blog, its beautiful and inspiring. sending you love, N

  3. etty yaniv says:

    Austin, I loved reading your thoughts and thanks for sharing your new work with your readers—takes a lot of guts! I am particularly drawn to the meaty-juicy-body related image 4178–the expressive handling of the color evokes soutine and guston (you make it very much your own!). I love the way you combine linearity with the patches of color and I also find the frontal composition bold and intreaguing, esp the way you blur the boundaries between flat and dimensional space. I like the way you cropped the shape—it makes me think of a snapshot of a live blob of flesh that is both physically very present but also belongs to a more mental sphere. It’s this confusion between figuration and abstraction that draws me in. Keep going with these–transitions are uncomfortable but so necessary! Etty

    • Austin says:

      Thanks Etty, I like trying to walk the line between abstraction and figuration, 2D to 3D, physical to mental, etc. glad to see you picking up on it!

  4. Pingback: Invisible Painting One | paint the painting

  5. paintlater says:

    Hi Austin, I can see a huge difference in your paintings. After my return from New York looking for answers, there’s a certain inadequateness that comes over you as a painter- I could only imagine Spain! Give it time-everything will settle into place again and your paint will be better for the experience. Ive missed your blogs but just throw us an image every now and then, you’re a great painter! Cheers Sue.

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